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The Battle Between Dupont Delrin and Acetal Copolymer Sheet and Rod

Aug 9th 2015 at 11:46 PM

The Comparison between Delrin® and Acetal

Have you ever seen the small, white plastic gears in your watch, the moving pieces in a hose nozzle, audio cassette parts, food wear parts, food feed screws and pumps parts, or maybe even guitar picks? If so, then you have seen one of the most versatile plastic known as Acetal (polyoxymethylene or POM). Acetals are a very durable and strong plastic resin, so it is no surprise to see it being used for so many different things. Acetals versatility makes it a regular replacement for many aluminum or metal parts, or for other similar plastic materials, like Polyamide Nylon or PET. Acetal is a more stable material than HDPE, another very popular material used in food processing..

Acetal plastic material is a thermoplastic. What this means it can be softened by heat and as it cools, the material becomes hard again, and will retain the new shape. Because of this characteristic it is able to be molded in to many different types of objects, like the few listed above. While some thermoplastics are 'formable', Acetal is very difficult to reshape with heat after it is made into a sheet or rod. A crystalline, rather than amorphous type resin is used to make acetal.

Two standard grades of Acetal

You need to know some of the differences, Acetal versus Delrin. There are two basic types of Acetal; one is a copolymer and the other a homopolymer. Ticona is one manufacture that makes a widely known copolymer called Celcon®, BASF produces a high quality copolymer H2320. Delrin is produced by Dupont, a popular brand name and the most commonly used Homopolymer. Standard mill shapes include: Delrin® Rod, round rods, sheets and panels and some tube and profiles are also produced.

Very similar but not the exactly

Even though the copolymer and homopolymer acetal are very similar and may look the same, they do have some large differences in properties and this makes them unique in their own way. For example the copolymer will perform better than the homopolymer in these areas; thermal, impact, wear and chemical resistance. When evaluating the copolymer characteristics, you will find that it has a lower water absorption rate. This can be critical if you are working with moist functions such as water faucets, impellers, pump parts, valve and valves stems than the homopolymer will.

Both Delrin® Homopolymer and Copolymer Acetal are excellent to machine

Both Delrin and Acetal are excellent choices for machining and mechanical type applications. Tight tolerances may be maintained during the cutting and machining process. The materials are considered to be self lubricating, and make very good dry slide wear strips. Both resins are FDA, NSF and 3A (Dairy) compliant.

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